It's hard work being a teenager, and any extra stress can seem to be too much. That's what Jamilah/Jamie tells herself as she hides her ethnicity and background from her classmates, staying silent even when her classmates toss around slurs and ugliness. She's so devoted to being invisible that she's afraid to stand out in any way, from making contact with girls who could be her friends to ignoring the official cute guys if they cast eyes in her direction.
Meanwhile her father sets strict limits (that she also can't admit to), making her feel even more isolated and unwanted at home. And she has a healthy dose of adolescent selfishness, not noticing that other people's lives aren't perfect, not recognizing that she's not the only one affected by her actions and those of her peers. Randa Abdul-Fattah gives a realistic feel to Ten Things I Hate About Me, the story of a Lebanese-Australian coping with a world that assumes Arab=terrorist and a home that assets that female=sheltured. But I'm at the wrong age to fully appreciate a book with a whiny teenager, as I gaze into that abyss for my own home. B-